What if your shopping addiction could benefit your community? In Miami, concealed among the high-end fashion stores and mall chains, lie hidden gems called thrift stores. These are known for having affordably priced clothing, accessories, and other items, all donated by members of the community. If you want to shop for a unique style on a budget while also supporting local charity organizations, these five thrift stores and boutiques might be options for you.
Dragonfly Thrift Boutique
3141 SW Eighth St. Suite A
Miami, FL 33135
The Dragonfly Thrift Boutique is located in a small space compared to the other stores in this list, but the welcoming ambiance makes up for it. They have a great selection of clothes, accessories and shoes, with styles ranging from vintage to trendy. A Private Label by G wedding dress usually that retails for over $1000 is on sale for $150, and joining the store point rewards system can give you a discount. From tea sets to beautiful artwork, the boutique offers patrons vintage and sophisticated furniture for a great price. Most importantly, 100% of the proceeds go to the Ladies Empowerment and Action Program (LEAP). LEAP is a non-profit organization that strives to help formerly incarcerated women by offering education, job and housing resources during their transition back to the outside world. The Dragonfly Boutique started as a LEAP initiative, providing many with their first post-prison job. Rachle Vessey, who has been working at Dragonfly for 8 months, says LEAP changed her life. “We work hard to make the store an experience,” she says.
Out of the Closet
2400 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33137
This store offers colorful walls, music and friendly staff. You will find great clothing pieces, beautiful furniture and accessories. The media room is filled with books from all genres, CDs and DVDs all ranging from $1 to $5. A Keurig coffee maker that retails for $150, was on sale for $30. The store also offers weekly discounts ranging from 30 to 50%. Donations are accepted by drop off and free, scheduled pickup. Not only is it a great find, but 96 cents of every dollar the store makes goes to the non-profit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The AHF helps give people living with HIV/AIDS lifesaving treatments and also assists the homeless. The store also offers free HIV testing in the pharmacy adjacent to them. John Travis, who has worked here as a manager for 11 years, expresses his reason for working in the store by saying that “it’s good karma and a paycheck.”
Lotus House Thrift Chic Boutique
2040 NW Seventh Ave.
Miami, FL 33127
Located in the Wynwood art district, Lotus House Thrift Chic Boutique is a partner with Overtown’s Lotus House Women’s Shelter. The boutique specializes in trendy and boho clothing, with most of their inventory coming from donations, stores that have shut down or partnering with companies such as Reformation, which donates excess stock and out-of-season inventory. All of the proceeds from the boutique go towards the Lotus House Shelter. For 15 years, the organizations has provided housing, food and other services for women and youth going through homelessness. Along with clothing, the boutique is also known for its high-quality furniture, which is among some of the most expensive items in the store. Every Wednesday, all furniture is 40% off. The Canadian company Particle has partnered with the store, providing items such as dining room sets, couches and rugs. A brand new dining table sold for $1000, if purchased on Wednesdays, will be priced down to $600.
12640 NE Sixth Ave.
Miami, FL 33161
901 E Tenth Ave. #12
Hialeah, FL 33010
If you hope to shop at Red, White, and Blue, be sure to get there early. Thirty minutes after the store opens, the aisles are often filled with dozens of patrons. This thrift chain is packed with clothes for all age ranges at incredible prices. For instance, the store has daily 50% off specials on dozens of items. The store also has a wide selection of home goods and electronics. Many of their books retail for $2.99. The most expensive items include designer bags, which range from $50 to $800. A portion of the profits supports American veterans.
Goodwill – Little Havana/Calle Ocho
982 SW Eighth St.
Miami, FL 33130
Goodwill is one of the most-known thrift chains, but the store located in Calle Ocho might be the best organized in the Miami area. The store has a wide variety of clothes, mattresses, carpets and books, but the jeans selection is one of its best features. Because the inventory comes from donations, you might find really good pieces of local fashion for a great price. Every week they assign a color tag that gives you 50% off and Senior citizens get an extra 15% off every Tuesday. The store’s proceeds are directed towards their organization, which helps members of the community with career training and supportive services like child care and transportation.